A tape measure is one of the most common and useful tools a person can own. It’s small, easy to use, and functional. Even if you’re not a carpenter or DIYer, you’ll probably be able to figure out how to use it. However, this tool has many hidden features that make it more powerful than a roll of metal with spaced marks feels.
We will discuss below the different tips and tricks on how to use a tape measure.
- Learn how to read the tape measure – A tape measure has a lot of tick marks, and understanding them is key to using it properly.
- 1 inch“ -Inches extend all the way across the tape and it has a big bold number announcing each inch. For beginners, this will likely be what you look at most
- 1/2″: The half-inch marking is the second longest line in between the full-inch marks.
- 1/4″: The quarter-inch markings are just a bit shorter than the half-inch mark and their four-quarter inches in one inch.
- 1/8″: The eighth-inch markings are the second shortest markings.
- 1/16”: The sixteenth-inch markings are the smallest and most precise form of measuring, but require you to look closely.
- Utilize the end hook opening– At the end of your tape measure is an opening that can be used to hook onto fasteners like a nail or screw. It is designed to stay on with tension but quickly come off if you ease up on the tension.
- Draw straight lines – Hook the tab onto the end of the table or flat surface, hold it flat, and draw a straight line using a pencil. Simply think of it as a ruler while drawing a line.
- Use it for simple scribing – The metal clip is designed to be a bit rough for marking wood surfaces. Push it down and scratch it back and forth and you will have a wood mark without a pencil or marker making it convenient to use.
- Extend in the air – Depending on the quality and width of the tape measure, you can potentially extend it 11 feet without reinforcement into the air with a fat max. That means you don’t need another person to hold it up or secure it onto a fastener, but can just hold it up!.
Buy The Right Length & Width
Tape measures come in different lengths and widths and it’s ideal to buy the one that fits your needs. For example, if you’re working in a construction field, then getting a 25-foot tape is a requirement- maybe longer. However, for simple home projects like hanging a picture frame on the wall, a 16 footer will do the trick. For width, the general sizes are between a quarter-inch which will give around 2 feet of unsupported reach, to 1.5 inches for 11 feet on a fat max. Most standard tapes like a 20 footer are about 1 inch wide giving about 7 feet of the range which is more than enough for most people.